Did Steve Wozniak get a two-hour iPad start?

According to a CNET reader, Steve Wozniak got up early, mounted his Segway and picked up his iPads two hours before the 9 a.m. Saturday deadline.

Updated 4:21 p.m. PDT Sunday. Readers have contacted me contradicting the idea that Woz got his iPad early. A student from Cupertino with the Twitter handle PyRo1509 tweeted: "I was with Woz all night. He didn't cut in line and he got his Ipad's the same time as Me. 2hr start NO, already had a 3G." All night? Goodness.

It seems that Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak may have jumped an Apple product launch line in a new and most spectacular way Saturday.

I wondered just the other day whether Woz, who had already declared that he had ordered two iPads for himself, might eschew the need to stand in line in order to pick up his precious items. He has, in the past, been accused of encouraging folks to let him jump the queue at major Apple launches.

So I was touched beyond hysteria to receive a tweet on Saturday from CNET reader Randi Harper, a FreeBSD developer from Sunnyvale: "rumor confirmed re: Woz/iPad. He cut us off on his segway outside Valley Fair in SJC at 7 AM w/apple bag, 2 hours early."

Goodness, I thought. His usual mall. So I contacted Harper to discover more.

"I wasn't 100% sure it was him until other people in line confirmed," she tweeted. "He looks significantly more trim than he did in dancing with the stars, incidentally."

Did Woz ride to his iPad rendez-vous? CC Keoln.de/Flickr

I asked Harper whether she was camping out all night, as Woz, according to the San Jose Mercury News, was spotted at the iPad vigil at 6 p.m. Friday. But she wasn't quite that dedicated. "We were pulling into the parking lot around 7 AM, that's when he cut us off - zipping across the road on his segway," she told me.

Harper described most people's reaction in the mall to the Woz sighting as "worshipful." "Everyone in sfbay looks for him," she tweeted. "like kids w/easter bunny." But she wanted to make clear that Woz is not a dangerous and mean-spirited driver. (Do you drive a Segway? Or do you ride one? Or neither, really?)

"Just to be clear," she tweeted. "the 'cutting off' wasn't intentional - his segway is fast! he was in a crosswalk between mall & parking."

Perhaps some might be miffed that Woz might have made an arrangement with the Apple store to pick up his iPads before the doors opened and avoid fuss. But I still wonder why Steve Jobs didn't have a couple of them FedExed to his door, just for old times' sake. Didn't they used to get along?

 

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